Bonfires – large, controlled fires that bring the community together – have been around since the late 15th century, and are used in just about every country as a way to celebrate special times including the summer solstice and Easter, among many others.
Last night, Madison High School’s Class of 2023 hosted our first-ever bonfire as a way to cheer our football team to victory over Perry in tonight’s game. The bonfire was a huge success, creating a night full of excitement for the big rivalry game.
The fire was constructed of pallets piled a dozen feet high and covered with signs spray-painted with chants such as “Beat Perry,” “Sink the Ship,” “Beat Those Pirates,” and of course – “Go Blue”! As the fire whooshed through the tower of wood and cardboard, cheers arose from the 100+ students, staff, and community members who watched in awe.
Ms. Dana Clark, Family Consumer Science teacher at Madison High and Senior Class Advisor, is thrilled with the success of this unique event: “We saw this as a joint effort between the school and community to create a night full of school spirit, and it certainly did that,” she says. “It was so inspiring to see how everyone came together in a relatively short time to make this happen, and then to enjoy the special bond and excitement the bonfire created.”
Ms. Clark led student leaders through the process of planning the event with the Madison Fire Department to ensure the fire would remain safe and controlled. “It was a great learning experience for them,” Ms. Clark explains, “as there were so many factors we never would have known about prior to talking with the fire department. It was an excellent way to see first-hand how many different considerations come into play with an event like this. We were thrilled with the collaboration between the fire department and the students.”
Madison Fire Department managed the fire and the crowd to keep everyone safe, while students were responsible for cleaning up ashes and debris once the embers were cold.
Special thanks to Perry Nuclear Power Plant for donating the pallets; the Madison Class of 2023 for organizing this event; Class Advisors and Dana Clark and Emily Daniels; and of course, the Madison Fire Department for making this happen safely.
Will the Madison-Perry Rivalry Bonfire become an annual event? We sure hope so! And for tonight, of course: GO BLUE – Beat Perry!!! #MadisonStrong